Self-Esteem in Teenagers
According to Tyler (2020), some common self-esteem issues that teens face arise from academics, appearance, social life, athletics, physical dimensions, competency at work, close friendships, and romantic relationships. Teenagers are often confused about themselves and might have low self-esteem in case they have unsupportive parents or other figures that play an integral role in their lives. According to De Vries and Vossen (2019), teenagers tend to take keen notice of their physical appearance. Their exposure to social media platforms will likely cause high body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. However, a positive and supportive relationship between teenagers and their parents is likely to help teenagers deal with problems relating to self-esteem. Other causes of low self-esteem among teens might include abuse or trauma, loneliness or bullying, mood disorders like depression, and stressful life events like moving houses and parental divorce (Reach Out, 2022). Low self-esteem and negative body image tend to manifest in eating disorders, which is common among teens (Tyler, 2020; Uchoa et al., 2019).
To help a teenager build a positive self-image, I recommend daily positive affirmations where the teen reminds themselves that they matter and are capable of doing much more. I would also ask them to set achievable goals since setting unrealistic goals and upholding oneself to very high standards is a part of the causes for low self-esteem. In addition, I would ask the teen to form a strong bond and open up to a trusted figure, such as their parents, since this bond moderates teens’ negative self-image (De Vries & Vossen, 2019). Further, I would also ask the teen to visit a psychiatrist who can help them work through any negativities and build on a positive self-image. Lastly, finding something the teen can enjoy, such as sports or arts, can also help improve their self-image.
De Vries, D. A., & Vossen, H. G. (2019). Social media and body dissatisfaction: investigating the attenuating role of positive parent–adolescent relationships. Journal of youth and adolescence, 48(3), 527-536.
Reach Out. (2022). Self-esteem and teenagers. Retrieved from https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/self-esteem-and-teenagers
Tyler, S. (2020). Human Behavior and the Social Environment I. University of Arkansas Libraries.
Uchôa, F. N. M., Uchôa, N. M., Daniele, T. M. D. C., Lustosa, R. P., Garrido, N. D., Deana, N. F., … & Alves, N. (2019). Influence of the mass media and body dissatisfaction on the risk in adolescents of developing eating disorders. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(9), 1508.
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What are some common self-esteem issues that teenagers face? If you were working with a student experiencing low self-esteem, what recommendations would you make to help increase their positive self-image?
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